Thursday, 24 January 2019

Ceisteanna (62)

John Brady

Ceist:

62. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason a school (details supplied) was not included in plans to bring broadband to an area; if the school will be facilitated to access broadband; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3400/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The premises referenced by the Deputy is in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie. The AMBER areas represent the target areas for the proposed State led Intervention under the NBP. This intervention is the subject of an ongoing procurement process. I note that there is some deployment of infrastructure by eir in the area of the school premises. This is part of that company’s ongoing rural fibre rollout.

eir’s rural investment in high speed broadband is an entirely commercial undertaking, and not part of the planned State Intervention network. Although the deployment is monitored under the terms of a Commitment Agreement signed between the company and my Department, it is not funded by the State and it is not planned, designed or directed by my Department in any capacity.

The selection of what premises are to be served under eir’s deployment is an internal and commercial decision for that company. My Department has no statutory authority or function to intervene in the company’s commercial decisions, nor in any decisions relating to the roll out and siting of infrastructure throughout Ireland by service providers operating in a liberalised market.

The procurement process to appoint a bidder for the State intervention network is now at the final stage. My priority is to bring the procurement process to a fair and impartial conclusion as quickly as possible and I will bring a recommendation to Government in this regard in the coming weeks.